For Immediate Release — February 11, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516


GENESEO, N.Y. — A lecture by an expert on civic affairs and politics, and a civic engagement fair will be two of the highlights of this year’s Civic Engagement Week at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Civic Engagement Week, which will run from Feb. 22-March 1, is aimed at encouraging Geneseo students to become involved with their community.

Harry Boyte, professor of political science and co-director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the University of Minnesota, will talk about civic engagement and higher education’s role in the renewal of democracy at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom. The talk, sponsored by Geneseo’s American Democracy Project, is free and open to the public.

Boyte will draw from his most recent book, "Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life." Boyte is a member of the national Advisory Committee of the American Democracy Project and has written seven books on community organizing, citizen action and citizenship.

The Civic Engagement Fair, which will be held Feb. 24, will provide an opportunity for students to meet various community political and service agencies and groups in the town and village of Geneseo.

"It’s an opportunity for them to learn about things in the community," said Tom Matthews, director of leadership education, development and training at Geneseo. "We want to instill in students that they’re part of a bigger community and part of building a community."

Here is a listing of the weeklong events:

What Is Civic Engagement and Where Do We Start?

12:45-1:45 p.m. Feb. 22, MacVittie College Union Hunt Room

Geneseo graduates are expected to make a difference in the world and in their communities. But what does it mean to be engaged in civic life? What is community and how can one exercise civic leadership? Distinguished Professor of History Bill Cook will lead a discussion of why and how we need to reclaim democracy at the grass roots level.

Good Government vs. Bad Government: How Do We Tell The Difference In Our Communities?

12:45-1:45 p.m. Feb. 23, MacVittie College Union Ballroom Lounge

Good government and bad government is a crucial concern in our communities. Amidst all the noise of TV politics, we need to forge a sense of the common good in local government. Wes Kennison — Geneseo alumnus, Geneseo town supervisor, and adjunct lecturer of English and foreign languages — will draw upon his experience as a local leader, as well as insights gained during 27 years of travel and study in central Italy and Siena, home to Lorenzetti’s frescos depicting effects of good and bad government in town and country.

Civic Engagement Fair

Noon-2 p.m. Feb. 24, MacVittie College Union Lobby

Voting is one way to participate in American democracy, but engaging in one’s community through voluntary service, internships and service learning also is critical to our form of government. Think globally, vote locally also means engaging and helping one’s community for the greater good. Take the time to come and meet involved citizens and find out how you can contribute to the larger Geneseo community.

Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers

12:45-1:45 p.m. Feb. 24, MacVittie College Union Room 322/323

As a volunteer, you have rights and responsibilities. This session will provide students with a set of expectations as volunteers and expectations from the people who direct their volunteer work. Students also will learn the basic dos and don’ts of volunteer work. Instructors: Kay Fly, coordinator of volunteerism and service learning, and Carolyn Smith, executive director of Teresa House.

Engaging in Everyday

4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 24, MacVittie College Union Ballroom

The American Democracy Project Committee will host a lecture by Harry Boyte, co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Democracy and Citizenship. He will address higher education’s role in the renewal of democracy.

Deliberative Dialogue on Hate Crimes & Bias-related Incidents on College Campuses

5-7 p.m. March 1, followed by dinner, MacVittie College Union Ballroom

The deliberative dialogue facilitators will present three possible approaches for a campus to take when bias-related incidents occur. The participants will discuss the approaches to find their common ground about how campuses should handle such incidents. Becky Glass, director of the Teaching & Learning Center, will lead the discussion.

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